Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Set in 18th century France, Céline Sciamma (Girlhood, SFF2014) returns with this beautifully calibrated, incandescent romance between a painter and her subject. Marianne is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young lady who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride-to-be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day and secretly paints her at night. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women as they share Héloïse’s first and last moments of freedom, all whilst Marianne paints the portrait that will end it all. With vulnerable and nuanced performances by its superb leads, Noémie Merlant (Marianne) and Adèle Haenel (Héloïse), Sciamma has created an intimate and deeply moving period drama about freedom and desire.